I first heard about Ethereum's
The idea behind blockchain technology was interesting to me. The more I read, the more I could imagine a world in which variables were predetermined by participating parties, and acted upon autonomously of human day-to-day involvement. I thought through different use case scenarios, and saw how it could
The reason I'm so fascinated by use case scenarios for the blockchain in the gaming space is because when I was 17 years old, I was one of the highest ranked World of Warcraft players in North America.
I also had one of the first e-famous gaming blogs on the Internet, way back in 2007 before blogging was considered "cool." I was part of an elite group of gamers that essentially pioneered the booming eSports industry we know today, specifically within the World of Warcraft.
Back when I was a gamer, the concept of earning a living as a professional gamer was nothing more than a far and distant dream. Today, the eSports industry is valued at about $700 million, with an anticipated value of $1.5 billion by 2020,
But eSports is just one chapter in a much larger story.
When you start to look at the gaming industry as a whole, and the role eSports has played in its evolution and mainstream adoption, what you'll find is a breadth of opportunity for entrepreneurial disruption. There are so many more niches under the umbrella of "gaming" that it wouldn't be fair to call eSports and professional gaming the focal point.
With blockchain technology stepping onto the scene, we're now discovering so many other sub-niches where gamers, developers, fans, advertisers, and both hardware and software companies can push the boundary. Sticking with eSports for a moment, the followership surrounding games like League of Legends, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and more, rivals that of mainstream sports like football--and subsequently, platforms like DraftKings. Seeing this trend, Mark Cuban got behind Unikrn, a blockchain platform that allows users to bet on eSports matches in the same way.
Another example of how blockchain technology is disrupting the gaming space is in making use of idle hardware and computing power, with a platform by
If you're a gamer, this is an obvious quick win. (And besides, every gamer loves finding more ways to rack up digital rewards.)
But the value of cryptocurrencies isn't just incentivizing players inside games--but developers to make them in the first place.
One of the core challenges game developers face is in the distribution of the games they build.
It's a fragmented market. While game developers might be savvy enough to build the games themselves, being paid for the games they build is another issue entirely--especially when you're a consumer in one country looking to purchase a game developed in another.
One of the primary value adds cryptocurrencies have in society is their ability to improve transactions around the world--by removing the need for centralized banks. On a macro, economical level, the benefits of this are fairly obvious. But from a micro, even niche level, such as in terms of gaming, that is an entire industry in itself.
Unity recently partnered with blockchain platform
To put it simply: if the gaming industry as a whole is already growing at an exponential rate, then reducing some of these points of friction by allowing purchases through tokens will turn this industry into a rocket ship.
If you're not a gamer, it's easy to think some of these speculations are "far off," but as a gamer they make complete and total logical sense. Most people don't know that just about every MMORPG with a functioning in-game currency already operates in a similar fashion. There are websites right now where you can purchase in-game World of Warcraft gold for fiat--and it's been that way for decades.
The fact that we have a language now to that transaction process is not only exciting, but disruptive.
Cryptocurrencies are going to catapult the gaming industry forward.